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Last updateWed, 25 Sep 2013 1pm

BackYou are here: ResistanceStatements Condemn the Physical and Mental Torture on the Minor Daughters and Mother of Activist Shyna!


Condemn the Physical and Mental Torture on the Minor Daughters and Mother of Activist Shyna!

Condemn the Illegal Detention and Intimidation of Civil Rights Activists by the Lawless Kerala Police!

Once again, yet another act of impunity of the supposed guardians of law. This time it is not in the adivasi regions of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Jangal Mahal etc. This time it is in the state of Kerala where there is already a climate of deliberate mass hysteria created by the state ably supported by a jingoist, conniving media. We all are aware of the manner in which Abdul Nasser Moudany was profiled by the media drunk with the hysteria of the so-called 'war against terror'. Moudany was an easy political scapegoat for the competitive communal politics played for narrow electoral gains by the various political parties-be it the CPM led front or the Congress led one-in Kerala. Riding piggy back on this 'terror tales' was constructed the demonising profile of Kerala being the hub of 'Jihad'. It was soon followed by the usual stories of arrests of educated Muslim youth alleged to be part of some 'major conspiracy'. The sensation driven 24x7 media competitively gorged on this palate served by the 'anti-terror industry'. And to make the picture complete were these stories of the imminent threat of the Maoists blowing hot and cold in the same media. That there is a possible tie-up between the Jihadis and the Maoists is anybody's guess.

The story of an activist Ms. Shyna who is leading an underground life for fear of persecution and incarceration by a vilifying media and state apparatus-a lawless police in this case-for her political views sympathetic to the Maoist movement speaks volumes of the very many dimensions of the fascist state terror that can happen to an average middle class family in society like Kerala obsessed with sexist and patriarchal notions about women in general and politically active women in particular.

A few facts about Ms. Shyna

  1. During the period of last V.S. Achyuthanandan ministry Shyna was subjected to continuous police harassment and recurrent attempts of arrest under false charges. Her house was searched in 2007 without warrant and she was picked up late midnight, around 1 am, and kept under illegal custody along with her two minor daughters and a group of democrats from West Bengal, who was conducting propaganda against the forceful eviction in Nandigram. A few days earlier to this incident there was another attempt to arrest her when she accompanied a group of human rights activists visiting Govindan Kutty, editor of Peoples March, at that time incarcerated in Viyyur Central Jail.
  2. A couple of weeks later the police again tried to implicate her for allegedly harbouring CPI (Maoist) leader Mr. Mallaraja Reddy and his wife who were then arrested from Kerala. The police broke open her house in her absence without any warrant took away many articles including CPU of a computer, a digital camera, CDs etc. No receipt or seizure list has been given till date. Her mother who is the actual owner of the house has not received any intimation on this regard before or after the search operation. The police locked the house with a new lock the key of which could be obtained by her mother after several months only through order of the Kerala High Court. Her mother could find many documents and house hold articles stolen when she opened the house.
  3. The method behind these acts of impunity from the police is primarily due to her ideological solidarity and sympathy towards the Maoist movement. Fearing arrest and incarceration, given the track record of the Kerala police, Shyna left her house four years before and continued her struggle based on the ideas she firmly espoused for. The fascist, unlawful, lt alone sadist police harassment and torture started by the last ministry against Ms. Shyna and her family is still continuing, getting worse by the day.
  4. The latest incidents that have taken place on 31 May 2001 and the following weeks show the premeditated nature of the cold and calculative psychological and physical violence inflicted on her 71 year old mother-a heart patient who had undergone a by-pass surgery a few years before, ailing from diabetes, hypertension and other age related infirmities-and her young daughters who are just opening up to the world. A group of about 20 policemen followed a friend of her daughter visiting their house to return an umbrella he borrowed (her house is under 24 hour surveillance). The prejudiced police took him for a messenger, broke open the door of the house without any warning, conducted thorough search and seized many materials and documents. True to their nature they indulged in abusive language about the character of her daughter, a 15 year old, despite the protest of my mother. The police took her friend into custody. The boy later revealed that he was questioned, threatened and mentally tortured by the police.
  5. The sadist and criminal intent of the police was evident as they taunted her mother: "Why are you living like this? Why don't you commit suicide along with these children?" The used the most deprecating language to insult her mother before the young children. This act of the police intended to inflict mental torture and agony to her mother is a serious offence punishable under criminal law for inciting her to commit suicide.
  6. The criminal and criminalizing act of the police officers knew no bounds as they compelled the boy (her daughter's friend) to insinuate the girl casting aspersions on her conduct. The following day a police constable named Abhilash went to her house to coerce her daughter to corroborate with the insinuations elicited out of the boy. The criminal mind of the police constable is evident as he indulged in sexual innuendos to a minor girl despite continuing protests from her mother. The extent of the psychological violence is evident as the girl was forced to say that "she was ready to undergo any medical examination to prove her virginity".
  7. In the following days, the police team continuously visited her home not even sparing her younger daughter who is only eight years old. One can imagine the psychological violence inflicted on the two kids when CI Ravindranath of Valapad Police station shouted at the little girl: "We will kill that pulayadimon [Malayalam abusive term equivalent to son of a bitch] by hitting and hitting him with a stone on his head." The frequent police visits and searches in the middle of the night by the CI Ravindranadh and his subordinates repeated many days and is still going on.

Illegal detention of the fact-finding team

It was to look into these atrocities on an old woman and her minor grand-daughters and the witch hunt of a political activist Ms. Shyna that a fact-finding team planned to visit the household and the surroundings to take stock of the situation as well as to bring to larger public the monstrosity of the lawlessness and criminal intent of the police. No wonder the fact-finding team which was rudely woken from their sleep in the morning by the very police which was inflicting atrocities on the children and mother of Ms. Shyna. The high-handedness of the police was evident as the fact-finding team comprising of Advocates Kesavan, Murugan,(both from CRPP) and civil rights activist Gopal (CPCL, Tamil Nadu), G. Vasu, Sugathan and Ajayan all well known people's activists from Kerala, all were picked from where they were lodged in Thrissur and was taken to the Thrissur East Police Station. Even the team members were addressed using expletives by the DYSP Thomas throwing all civility to the winds. It was only after the collective protests of the conscientious people against the high-handed behaviour of the police that the team was released by around noon. This only reflects the desperation of the police to hide their acts of impunity. It is high time that these criminal elements be brought to book. Under the garb of policing they have become the licensed breakers of law.

Espousing a political view and propagating the same for the betterment of humankind cannot be a crime. Such criminal and fascist acts of the state should be resisted by all freedom loving people. Only a collective resistance of the people against such authoritarian, patriarchal and fascist methods can ensure that the already shrinking space of the discriminated, oppressed, exploited and mistreated can be won over. This can only be possible when we visualise the fundamental freedoms of the society from the stand point of the most oppressed, discriminated, exploited and mistreated.

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani
Working President

Amit Bhattacharyya
Secretary General

Rona Wilson
Secretary, Public Relations